Market Research

Notes from Paris:

  1. Parisian men have a lot of hair
  2. Parisian boys are kind of hot (even at age 6)
  3. Parisian noses are very different from Roman noses (ours are better)
  4. I am jealous of Paulina’s markets

At the base of the hill in Paulina’s neighborhood (Pantheon), there is a picturesque al fresco market where I wanted to buy everything like oysters, rays, white asparagus and baby artichokes. I immediately admitted it was better than anything in Rome (though the prices were crazy—ah, Paris!). Clean stands, stylish shops that are seemingly old-fashioned, and picturesque awnings covering each vendor. Across from the market is the requisitie amazing cheese shop. And within a 100 meter radius there are at least 3 great bakeries. Even though the prices were outrageous, I quickly let it slip that this market was better than anything in Rome. No wait, the neighborhood is better! No, no—Paris is the best! Superlatives jumping out of my mouth like secrets i can never keep…

I was drug induced. Allergies plus Clarityn caused my head to spin and see things slightly off-kilter. A few hours later, I remembered:
a. My medieval neighborhood is far better than hers-- I live near the real Pantheon, not the Napoleon designer-impostor.
b. Fruit, like a good espresso, is better and cheaper in Italy
c. Rome is the best

I should admit that I live in the only neighborhood, Ponte, that doesn’t have an outdoor market which I complained about to the Professor whose simple response was “My market is probably the best in Rome. Everyone comes here from all over. Move here if you want a good market.” He was saying it to spite me as he knows that I know that he lives in the outer limits where only one bus passes through, nicknamed Il Malefico for its frequency. And I can’t stand it. (There will be a future discussion on this subject matter, when I am less subjective.)

Upon reflection, there is truth in the Professor-speak. It is nice to have a reliable neighborhood market nearby. But we all know that Romans (and thus anyone who moves to Rome) are resilient. If there is no market around, then we walk, bus or tram to find a good one. Right? I learned by full immersion that Californian supermarkets are only in California. And like any good Los Angelena, I don’t frequent just one Roman market, I date several at once.

Here is the Comune di Roma’s listing of all markets in Rome. I am intimately familiar with 18. Please email if you want my opinion.